A Journal of the Plague Year 2021–chapter 191

Friday, February 5

Unfortunate circumstances and the politicians have turned the COVID-19 vaccination process into a competition. Celebrities, many attempting to encourage the wary, go online or to the media, saying how easy the whole process is: Nothing to fear, just go to this CDC website and arrange an appointment. Meanwhile, millions cannot get an appointment and are left thinking there’s just something wrong with them: They must lack persistence or maybe computer skills.

In New York State, there’s just not much information. Every day, I go to the N.Y. State website, and to the sites of druggists Walgreen’s and CVS, only to learn that there are no appointments available. We’re willing to take an appointment in the city or out here on the East End of Long Island. The announcement yesterday that there would be lots of shots given at Yankee Stadium but only to Bronx residents made me wonder: just what sort of ID does one have to show? My driver’s license and our passports have a New York City address. If we were to get an appointment out here, would those be sufficient—supplemented perhaps with a property tax receipt or some letters addressed to Emily and me at this address?

Someone on Twitter asks: Why don’t they go door to door administering the vaccine, especially in poor areas? Well, because the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines must have ultra-cold refrigeration, and that means they’re not very mobile.

Emily’s high-school chums on Facebook report a much more sane process in Colorado. Rather than playing frantic website speed dating in an attempt to get an appointment, Colorado-ites merely go to one website and register—then, in due course someone telephones you with an appointment schedule and perhaps a registration number. 

But it’s typical capitalist thinking to make everyone see the socially necessary inoculation as a competition—a meritocracy, if you will. Mia Farrow, Mike Pence, and 20-something “educators” rate a jab—isolated and aged folks do not.

Suppose we make an appointment in the city or in Stony Brook, which is one of the state’s vaccination points? We’ll have to travel there once—and then again, a few weeks later for the second shot. If it’s in the city, should we stay there during the interval?

Who can say? In this life, as the artist once known as Prince suggested, you’re on your own.

This morning also features the exciting prospect of a Stop and Shop grocery delivery, likely sometime between 10:40 and 11:10, they now say. The truck could show up earlier, but they’ll let us know via text message. Emily must remain attentive. Will they get here before it begins to rain?

Dinner: an Amy’s frozen pizza and a green salad.

Entertainment: episodes of the British drama Collision on Kanopy.

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